Ulcerative Colitis is one of the two most common inflammatory bowel diseases (the other being Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS). It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects only the rectum and colon, where it leads to ulcers (or sores) and inflammation of the lower section (or the sigmoid colon) as well as the rectum. Though it is most common to only affect the sigmoid colon, it can affect the entire colon and generally speaking the more of the colon that is affected,the worse symptoms the sufferer will experience.
It is common for someone who has Colitis to go months and sometimes even years in remission, where they will experience no symptoms. As research shows that only five (5) to ten (10) out of one hundred (100) individuals with Colitis experience chronic symptoms.
Symptoms of Colitis
The most common signs that you may have Colitis include exhibiting the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea- In extreme cases it may affect the individual 10 to even 20 times per day. You may also be suddenly awakened during sleep with the urge.
- Stomach pain- Chronic pain or tenderness of the stomach and abdomen.
- Bleeding of the rectum- Colitis often causes bloody and/or mucus-like stools, along with rectal pain.
- Appetite loss- Loss of appetite is a common symptom amongst Colitis suffers that often leads to weight loss, another sign that you may have Colitis.
- Fever- Fever is less common than the above mentioned symptoms, but can develop in severe cases.
- Constipation- Constipation may also be a sign of Colitis, though it is far less common than diarrhea.
If you exhibit any of the above symptoms regularly, it could be a sign that you may have Colitis. However, the symptoms of Colitis closely mimic those that may be a result of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diverticulitis, and even Colon Cancer.